Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Facing My Giants

 I recently re-read the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17). I know David had to have been scared to death as he went out, by himself, to face that giant who taunted him and blasphemed God, but he knew God was with him and that's all he needed. His confidence was with God and he succeeded. I feel like I'm facing a huge giant called insecurity right now, and I need to trust God to get me through this. It's tough, but He already know this. I'm so insecure and unsure of myself that I feel like Gideon, needing reassurance from God that He is there and will take care of me.

The giants I'm facing are taunting me, but you know, they didn't taunt at first. At first, they gave me confidence, assurance, joy even. I had nothing to fear, nothing to need. I was good. Then, slowly, those giants have turned into beasts, taunting me because they are close but far out of reach. I've lost the confidence I had, I've lost my fearless bravado, and my need for their "joy" grows daily but can never be satisfied. Yesterday, as I faced a lethargic afternoon because I'm on a low-carb diet to lose those 10 pounds I've gained, I couldn't think straight. I felt flaky, like I couldn't concentrate on anything, and overwhelmed with the tasks at hand. Questions kept popping into my head. How am I supposed to keep my kids homework under my supervision when I've got to cook dinner too? How am I supposed to cook dinner and supervise homework when my son's room is a mess? Where am I going to put all his toys? Things that weren't a big deal were becoming mountains in my head, and I began snapping at my children, biting there heads off with every response I had. Even if I had no response, I was not warm and fuzzy, but cool and standoffish. Then Anna had a meltdown, just as I was feeling the same way. I began to wonder if I was going about things the right way, and I began talking to God, finally.

 I recalled a conversation I had with my doctor about my daughter, who has begun to have less meltdowns as I have come loser to knowing true joy in the Lord. It was quite a parallel: I'm having a mental meltdown, which I don't hide very well. She's having a physical meltdown, over eating vegetables. I don't have patience for it, or with her, she gets worse. She is like a mirror of me. She reflects what I'm feeling in a 9 year old way, and last night there was no joy, no love, no peace here. It occurred to me somewhere in there how I had put off my devotion earlier and had planned on spending time with God "later", but unfortunately, later came too late.

As the kids went to bed, I did finally open His word to my desperate eyes and heart. My soul, which I had been trying to feed all day, was empty and it showed. How stupid, I think now, when the solution is easy and obvious. I read about David and Goliath. Facing your giants is never easy, but I need to. The first thing I need to do is spend time with God, no matter what. I said yesterday that time was one of the things that I am ultimately selfish with, and I don't even share it well with my friends and family. My kids get my time in pieces, and I'm always distracted. My husband gets my time when I'm ready, but I've always got something else to do. My workouts and this house get the majority of my time, and that is the truth. But God? He's right there in the middle, and that's how I know my priorities are a little out of whack.

To give of my time is a big, big deal to me. But I realized that He gave me time, and plenty of it, so I could give it back. Giving it back to Him first is how I know I'm going to make it through the day sane.
I have tried self-preservation over and over again, protecting my self against those things I perceive to be dangerous and giving myself to those things I perceive to be helpful: being the perfect size, having the perfect house, and being perfectly organized. Those are my giants, those things that were once a "blessing" but are now my mortal enemies as they are sucking the life out of me. I am consumed with these things to the point that I take no time for anything or anyone else unless I have to. I need God's help, because " you [God] created us for so much more than self-preservation or self-promotion. When we follow our natural inclination to preserve or promote ourselves or perform for others, we eventually end up in a place of darkness and doubt. It's just too much pressure. Even if we achieve success or have a few good days, eventually it won't be enough because we can't maintain it." (Rene Swope, A Confident Heart).

That is so important. We cannot maintain it. Total dependance on God is the only thing I can maintain right now. It is scary, and I feel out of control. What-ifs constantly pop into my thoughts. The only way to fight these is with His word, meditating on what He thinks of me, contrasting those ugly "against me" thoughts with "for me" thoughts from His Holy Word. This is my sacrifice to Him today: my time. I've got lots to do (which He knows) and time seems to slip away. I need His help to balance my time, accomplish important tasks and spend the rest of my time on what is important. I know He will guide me because I trust Him and seek His will. I don't like feeling out of control, but my body, my mind and my soul are all His.

 Over the years, it's like I've given Him parts of me, like my soul, where I knew I didn't have anything to lose. And then I figured the rest of me was still mine to deal with, like I've done what I was supposed to and given Him a small piece of me that I thought I could trust Him with. But as I'm sitting here, I'm realizing that he asks for all of me, even the parts I'm not sure I can trust Him with.

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